A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.

[Footnote 130:  The river Jaccatra, as has been mentioned, runs through the city, viz. from south to north, and having three bridges, one near the castle, at the lower end, another at the upper end, and the third about the centre of the town.  It is from 160 to 180 feet broad, within the city, and is fortified, though indifferently, at its mouth, which, however, is of less importance, as a continually increasing bar renders access to the city by it impracticable for large vessels.—­E.]

The streets are spacious and handsome, and the banks of the canals are planted with rows of trees, that make a very pleasing appearance; but the trees concur with the canals to make the situation unwholesome.[131] The stagnant canals in the dry season exhale an intolerable stench, and the trees impede the course of the air, by which, in some degree, the putrid effluvia would be dissipated.  In the wet season the inconvenience is equal, for then these reservoirs of corrupted water overflow their banks in the lower part of the town, especially in the neighbourhood of the hotel, and fill the lower stories of the houses, where they leave behind them an inconceivable quantity of slime and filth:  Yet these canals are sometimes cleaned; but the cleaning them is so managed as to become as great a nuisance as the foulness of the water; for the black mud that is taken from the bottom is suffered to lie upon the banks, that is, in the middle of the street, till it has acquired a sufficient degree of hardness to be made the lading of a boat, and carried away.  As this mud consists chiefly of human ordure, which is regularly thrown into the canals every morning, there not being a necessary-house in the whole town, it poisons the air while it is drying, to a considerable extent.  Even the running streams become nuisances in their turn, by the nastiness or negligence of the people; for every now and then a dead hog, or a dead horse, is stranded upon the shallow parts, and it being the business of no particular person to remove the nuisance, it is negligently left to time and accident.  While we were here, a dead buffalo lay upon the shoal of a river that ran through one of the principal streets, above a week, and at last was carried away by a flood.[132]

[Footnote 131:  Some of the streets are paved, but they consist of a hard clay which allows of being made plain and smooth; and within the city there are stone foot paths along their sides.—­E.]

[Footnote 132:  Five roads lead from the city into the country, all of which are finely planted with trees, and have very agreeable gardens on both sides.  These roads run along the course of the rivulets or canals which form so remarkable a feature in the history and appearance of this city.  The environs of Batavia have always been highly commended for their beauty and the fertility of the soil; the consequence, no doubt, of the extraordinary care taken to have them well watered—­E.]

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